What We Learned – Week 5

1. Stirling are joining Birmingham as runaway number one seeds

Just a couple of weeks after squeaking past the Saints at home, Stirling arrived at the Maiden Castle 3G and put a pasting on the team which was predicted to run them closest this season. With the Clansmen at 5-0 and this season’s crop of Americans unable to propel the Saints even above .500, it looks as if the much-proclaimed parity across the lower divisions hasn’t quite spread to the top tier.

2. The Oxford Lancers have been handed one of the cushiest turn of events in uniball history

The Lancers were surely feeling a sense of Schadenfreude when they heard the news last week that the Oxford Brookes Students Union was suspending the Panthers until Christmas, as a result of an ill-judged social media post by a member of the Panther’s organisation. Oxford aren’t exactly going to walk into the second tier by any means, but they now look likely to saunter their way into the third tier playoffs.

3. Speaking of runaway divisions, we still aren’t buying Northampton

Coventry were our overwhelming favourites to seize the Midlands 2A crown, and we’re sticking to that call. Northampton may be 3-0 but they’ve scored just 20 points in three games and this offensive output will pale in comparison with that of the Jets when the two face-off twice in back-to-back weeks beginning on January 31st. Beating Leicester 7-0 and 6-0 at home and on the road respectively is nothing to stop the press for – Coventry have almost doubled Northampton’s offensive output in just one game, after all.

4. The Yorkshire 1A division has just become even messier

With the postponement of the UCLan-Sheffield matchup, the fate of the most competitive division in uniball is still very much undecided. Elsewhere, Beckett completed their double over Hull after they squeaked out a 7-2 win on the road – effectively ruling the Sharks out of playoff contention while thrusting themselves very much into it. With UCLan unbeaten, Beckett on a roll and Sheffield still very much capable of reaching the heights they played at last season, this division is very much up for grabs.

5. The evil empire that is the Students Union strikes again

With UWE-Aberystwyth forfeited by the Taranau after yet another waterlogged pitch, and a further example of a Students Union refusing to send their team on the road at the last minute coming to the fore – the administrative chaos that rules BUCS football is being clearly brought into the spotlight. Players pay their subscriptions to a team, not an amorphous organisation which has no understanding of the logistical undertakings required in organising an American Football game – so why can’t the team (run by executive committees who have first-hand experience organising such undertakings) make decisions for itself?